I’m proud to announce the launch this week of the new website for the Civil War Data 150 project (“CWD150″). As we explain on the site, CWD150 is a collaborative project to share and connect Civil War related data across local, state and federal institutions during the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, beginning in April of 2011. The project will utilize Linked Open Data to find and create connections between archives and help increase the discovery of these resources by researchers and the general public alike.
The partnership currently includes the Archives of Michigan, the Internet Archive, Freebase, and the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond. In the coming months, we’ll be adding more participating institutions as we begin to move into the data collecting phase.
You may wonder what this has to do with LookBackMaps, and the answer is, “everything.” The purpose of LookBackMaps is to find connections between photographs and places, and the Civil War Data 150 takes that to another level, using Linked Data to enable the public to help make connections between disparate sets of data publicly available on the web. This kind of public research, when shared with agreed upon standards, becomes useful to other researchers, librarians, archivists and others! So what might have been a passion to me may contribute to solving a puzzle someone else is working on!